Tragically, the beloved “old school Florida” restaurant and brewery, the Pesky Pelican Brew Pub in St. Petersburg, has shuttered its doors and declared bankruptcy due to an enormous $540,000 in debt. With its closing, a cherished Florida institution that served customers seeking comfort cuisine in a family-friendly setting with a laid-back vibe has vanished.
Run by proprietor Dan Pemberton and his daughter Danielle, the Pesky Pelican Brew Pub was well-known for its distinctive St. Louis-style fare. Reviewed by customers with high appreciation, the pub was well-known for its bar food, particularly its thin-crust pizza topped with Provel cheese and golden ravioli.
Based on a review by Dani, who enjoyed the restaurant’s typical St. Louis pizza, it was especially well-liked by transplants from St. Louis, who found a little piece of home in Florida.
The Pesky Pelican Brew Pub unfortunately had serious financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. According to St. Pete Catalyst and Creative Loafing reports, the restaurant took out loans for the Economic Injury Disaster during the epidemic, which resulted in a $540,000 debt to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Pemberton also had a banquet hall, but it closed after seeing a decline in business and was unable to make enough money to pay off its debts, adding to the financial hardship.
The Pesky Pelican Brew Pub encountered financial difficulties, which led to its bankruptcy and closure on New Year’s Eve in 2023. Along with marking the demise of a well-liked local destination, the shutdown also illustrates the wider economic effects of the epidemic on small enterprises, especially those in the hotel industry.
Pemberton has acknowledged that, despite the difficulties, he may return to the hospitality sector as he is unable to retire because of the debt.
The tragic closing of Pesky Pelican Brew Pub has a tremendous impact on communities that cherish the distinct flavor and personal touch of “old school Florida” restaurants, and it serves as a sobering reminder of the vulnerability of small companies in the face of unforeseen disasters like the epidemic.